Apple Peels-off (some) Digital Rights Management Restrictions

That Steve Jobs is no joke. He must be a follower of The Secret. Because Jobs fairly recently "wished" the impossible could happen: to be allowed to do away with music copy protection on iTunes... and poof, the Apple chief has now announced that it will happen in May!

Apple and EMI are embarking on a revolutionary change in digital rights management (DRM), a loosening of the noose that outlandishly landed many "free-loading," downloading children in court. The Apple / EMI partnership involves use of a non-MP3 format called AAC, which delivers music at a higher bit rate, and therefore better quality sound.

Importantly, for the first time (certain) music players other than iPods will be able to play iTunes. And all of those who buy the EMI-backed artists will pay a higher price. It will cost $1.29 a pop for the higher quality, AAC formatted EMI tunes.

It'll be interesting to see if/when the other three major labels take a larger bite of our Apple dollars, too. I mean, fall in line with the copy-free attribute. But EMI alone moves the music industry Richter scale: It is the umbrella home of an enormous number of rock, pop, jazz, R&B and hip-hop stars. Among them: Coldplay, Chingy, Garth Brooks, Shirley Bassey, John Coltrane, The Beatles, Kelis, Norah Jones, Snoop Dogg, Pink Floyd, St. Germain, Wynton Marsalis, Paula Abdul, Moby, Pharrell, Thelonious Monk, Tina Turner, and Shaggy.

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